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Fmr. Rep. Etheridge says Ryan 'not a conservative, a radical'

READ MORE: Fmr. Rep. Etheridge says Ryan 'not a conservative, a radical'

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Since Mitt Romney picked Paul Ryan as his running mate over the weekend, attention has shifted to the Romney-Ryan plan.

Today, a former North Carolina Congressman came to Wilmington to say Ryan and his budget are not right for America.

Rep. Bob Etheridge says he is surprised Romney adopted Ryan's budget plan so easily.

"I'm surprised he endorsed it" Etheridge said. "What he's saying is he wants to take the $700 billion, give that to tax breaks, to the wealthiest people in this country, then say to the seniors, 'You're on your own.'"

Etheridge, a Democrat, who served with Ryan in the US House, including on the Budget Committee, says under the Ryan plan, Medicare will be cut and seniors will have to pay.

Ryan says that's not the case.

"Our point is we need to preserve their benefits, because the government made promises that they organized their retirements around," Ryan said in an interview with CBS "60 Minutes" over the weekend. "In order to make sure we can do that, we have to reform it for those of us who are younger."

Etheridge says there's more to the story.

"He's not being totally candid and honest," Etheridge said during his rally with Democratic voters. "The truth is he is not a conservative. He is a radical, because if you're conservative, you pay for what you do. He's not talking about paying for it. He's talking about adding trillions of dollars to the national debt."

Ryan says he is ready for the scrutiny that comes along with the race to the White House. He says now is the time to stand firm in his plan.

"This is not the time to go wobbly," Ryan said earlier this week. "They are going to run these attack ads at us regardless. This is the time for leaders to be leaders."

Etheridge says voters should learn more about Ryan's plan and really look at the details behind the ideas. He says the details define what the Romney-Ryan White House would look like.

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